Cranky croc leaps at ute

A crocodile on Neills Rd at Habana, just past Reliance Creek, greets drivers. The snappy croc lashed out at one vehicle and posed for a photo for another motorist.
A crocodile on Neills Rd at Habana, just past Reliance Creek, greets drivers. The snappy croc lashed out at one vehicle and posed for a photo for another motorist. Contributed

A CLOSE encounter with a crocodile meant a Habana couple's 29th wedding anniversary was an event they won't soon forget.

Harry and Karen Mauch were returning home with their son from dinner at the Hog's Breath Cafe on Monday evening when they saw the two-metre reptile lying in the middle of Neills Rd.

Earlier, a motorist had notified police that a big crocodile had leapt at his ute in the same area.

"As we came down the road we saw a car with flashing orange lights," Mr Mauch said.

"As we got closer, in the middle of the road was a crocodile.

"I never expected to see one like that; in a creek, sure, but not on the road."

Mr Mauch said although he was shocked to see the crocodile, he never felt there was any danger.

"We watched it and I rang a few friends who came down and had a look," Mr Mauch said.

"We see crocs all the time in the creek when we go fishing, we know they are there, but we don't expect them on the road.

"(The crocodile) didn't worry about us… we were fairly close."

Mr Mauch said the crocodile eventually moved into roadside bushes after police arrived.

Mackay police Sergeant Leigh Turner said a motorist notified them of the crocodile around 8.50pm.

"A resident called and said a 3.5-metre crocodile in the middle of the road had leapt up at his car as he drove past," Sgt Turner said.

"Police went out, and found a crocodile that was about two metres long.

"When police arrived it wandered off into the creek."

Senior Regional Inspector for RSPCA Queensland Selina Neill said it was possible the crocodile was exhibiting aggressive behaviour because it felt threatened.

"Attack is a form of defence sometimes," Ms Neill said.

"To attack a car, the crocodile probably wasn't looking at the car as prey."

Mr Mauch said thanks to the encounter he now planned on finding a new jogging route.

"At the moment I won't be walking down there anymore," Mr Mauch said.

"I used to jog there all the time."

The Department of Environment and Resource Development is making an assessment report of the sighting.

Topics:  crocodile traffic hazard

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